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Thursday, June 17, 2021

FIR filed against Suvendu, brother for ‘stealing’ cyclone relief materials

According to the police, Ratnadeep Manna, a member of the board of administrators at Contai Municipality, alleged that the relief materials were looted by the Adhikari brothers and two others with the help of central force personnel who were deployed for Suvendu’s security

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: June 7, 2021 5:14:13 am
BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari

An FIR has been filed against BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, his brother Soumendu Adhikari and two others at Contai police station in East Midnapore district, alleging that they stole relief materials meant for people affected by cyclone ‘Yaas’.

According to the police, Ratnadeep Manna, a member of the board of administrators at Contai Municipality, alleged that the relief materials were looted by the Adhikari brothers and two others with the help of central force personnel who were deployed for Suvendu’s security

“On May 29, 2021, around 12.30 pm, central force personnel arrived at a go-down of Contai municipality in a small truck and, with the help of two employees of the civic body, Himangshu Manna and Pratap Dey, they decamped with tarpaulin sheets provided by the state government as relief materials for the cyclone-hit. The sheets were worth over Rs 1 lakh,”
Manna wrote in his complaint.

“Along with another member of the board of administrators, Sheikh Habibur Rehman, I questioned Himangshu and Pratap. The two fumbled before admitting that they committed the crime on the orders of Suvendu and Soumendu,” Manna added.

Based on his complaint, the police registered a case against Adhikari and others. Speaking to this newspaper, East Midnapore SP Amarnath K said, “An FIR was filed against Suvendu Adhikari, his brother Soumendu and two others on June 1.

A case has been registered under sections 379 (theft), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 448 (trespassing) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 51/53 of Disaster Management Act, 2005, which deals with misappropriation of goods meant for relief.”

Both Suvendu and Soumendu were not available for comments.

Meanwhile, a close aide of Suvendu has been arrested for alleged involvement in a fake government job scam. The police said acting on a complaint lodged at the Manicktala police station, Rakhal Bera was arrested on Saturday from outside his Kolkata residence.

According to the complainant, Bera and his associates had taken huge amounts of money from locals on the promise of offering them Group D jobs in the state irrigation and waterways department.

Police said Bera took Rs 2 lakh from the complainant sometime between July 2019 and September 2019. “Despite paying the amount, the complainant claimed he was not given the promised job in the Irrigation Department,” a senior police officer said.

Suvendu was the Irrigation minister at the time.

According to the police, charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery of valuable security and forgery for the purpose of cheating have been slapped against Bera, who has been remanded to police custody till June 12.

Claiming Bera’s arrest to be political vendetta, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “The Trinamool is taking revenge on our workers and leaders. This is an attempt to intimidate our leaders by framing them in false cases. This is nothing but political vendetta. The corruption took place under the TMC rule.”

The ruling party dismissed the charge, saying law will take its own course. “The police have taken action on a complaint. There is no political vendetta,” said TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh.

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